Sleepless nights and many strikes in Sheffield

 BUCs 2013 Ten-Pin Bowling

Richard Turner


It was early on a cold Saturday morning in Sheffield… and thankfully the LUUTBC Men’s team was in the warm, bowling in the annual BUCS Student Championships. This year, the oil patterns were varied every set, and the long awaited return of Nottingham Trent had been made – between this and the relatively green experience of the team, the club was not expecting huge success.


The day had a rocky start, as Ben Hirsh and Genghis Khoo finished their Doubles set with 348 and 302 series respectively. As old hand, Jez Swann and partner Marcus Zhou started in the next set, we saw another 452 pins fall for Jez (he’d had his Weetabix) and a middling 287 for Zhou. The final doubles set for the morning,  newbie Simon Vickery (taught to bowl about two weeks prior) and club Captain Paul Turner pushed for those pins, with Vickery hitting a respectable 413 and Turner finishing the first set off dead on 600.


The team had a long break for lunch, seeing some amazing bowling from Loughborough, Sheffield and both Nottingham and Nottingham Trent. Additionally, this year saw the appearance of Chris Lam for Manchester, Lam ranking #1 at the Under 21 World Championships in 2012. So when Leeds drew Manchester for the first set of Trios, excitement and pressure was high.

Despite Khoo starting off poorly, by the third game he delivered with a personal best of 204, and 426 series. Hirsh put down a good performance with a 422 and Turner continued to push this time putting the pressure on Lam with a 640 series.


The bowling done for the day, the lads enjoyed themselves in Sheffield in traditional style, a slap up meal with drinks with all the other clubs – Tenpin Bowling often sees strong camaraderie, so BUCS often ends as a get together. Sunday morning was an early start at 9:30 for the second Trios team. Some big performances were put in by the newbies, Vikery hitting a PB game of 171, 444 series followed by Zhou with a 402 and Swann staying steady at 472. The team elected Genghis to take on the tough challenge of the Singles, and with a little coaching from the back, finished his BUCS debut with a 414 series on a difficult pattern.


The last leg of the day, 5-man team is notoriously difficult, more so for Hook bowlers due to the oil breakdown. Combined with a tough pattern, the coach was proud to see Swann maintain a 458 series, Hirsh push for a 398 (having only started to hook-bowl in the last month) and Vickery once again hit his 171 PB, again with a 444 series – evidently his new lucky number! Zhou struggled towards the end, but after a long day, finished on 360 and Turner, despite a recurring knee injury, put down a 549.


Leeds finished up just outside the top ten, in 11th place, happy to have at least beaten the B-teams of Loughborough, Sheffield and Warwick. Honourable mention goes to Social Sec, Rose Sawyer for agreeing to taxi kit back and forth. Turner had reason to celebrate though, having placed 14th (of 124) individually, averaging 198.8, his best BUCS performance to date, and amongst some very tough competition this year. Considering the inexperience of a lot of the team, all that can be said is watch this space (and Trent, we’re coming for your title!).

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